Blue Tree from Alcoa scrap metal shines a light on mental health

Jacinta CantatoreSouth Western Times
The snail "Turbo" on the tree.
Camera IconThe snail "Turbo" on the tree.

A group of heavy duty diesel mechanic apprentices have created a Blue Tree from scrap metal to raise awareness about mental health.

The team from Alcoa’s Willowdale mobile maintenance workshop applied their technical skills to design and make the tree from recycled scrap metal salvaged from the company’s bauxite mine operations.

Alcoa apprentice Ebony Bushnell works on the blue tree.
Camera IconAlcoa apprentice Ebony Bushnell works on the blue tree.

Aligned to the Blue Tree Project, the tree is aimed at being a constant visual reminder to staff and visitors to the Willowdale mine that it’s “OK to not be OK”.

The tree was installed last month at the Arundel entrance to the mine, south-east of Waroona.

Alcoa apprentice Lucas Pratt at the Arundel entrance to the Willowdale mine.
Camera IconAlcoa apprentice Lucas Pratt at the Arundel entrance to the Willowdale mine. Credit: Alcoa/Alcoa

The apprentices crafted the tree from recycled components including a Komatsu 730E haul truck front brake disc for the base, a 637G scraper brake drum, an Epiroc blast drill rod for the trunk, 730E lock rings for the branches, fuel injectors from a PC2000 excavator, mill balls from the Wagerup Alumina Refinery as coconuts, frayed wire rope from a Franna crane and an axle gear from a Komatsu HD1500 haul truck final drive.

The team also made a snail — nicknamed Turbo — from a turbocharger casing from a CAT 785 truck for the shell, a bucket tooth from a CAT 993 loader for the body, and accumulators from a PC2000 for the eyes.

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